• FT

    Zenit

    1

    Atletico

    1

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    Ajax

    2

    Barcelona

    1

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    Arsenal

    2

    Marseille

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    Dortmund

    3

    Napoli

    1

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    Celtic

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    Milan

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    FC Basel

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    Chelsea

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    FC Porto

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    Vienna

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    Steaua

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    Schalke 04

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UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

St Jakob Park

Attendance: 23000

* Local time based on your geographic location.

FC Basel

  • Mohamed Salah 87'

1 - 0

FT

FC Basel v Chelsea: Preview

Jose Mourinho wants Chelsea to secure their Champions League progression at Basle on Tuesday night before turning their focus on the hectic festive schedule which is ``only for the braves''.

Chelsea need a point to advance but a fourth straight win, following the opening loss at home to Basle, would secure top spot in Group E ahead of the final encounter with Steaua Bucharest on December 11.

In comments reminiscent of his first spell - when Mourinho sported a crew-cut and memorably stated ``I am ready for the war'' - the self-proclaimed Special One stated his desire to beat Basle and then focus on eight domestic fixtures in December, seven of them in the Barclays Premier League.

``It's a period I like,'' said Mourinho, again sporting a short haircut.

``It's a period where I think only the braves can survive because it's hard.

``We go into the Christmas period and the accumulation of matches is so high, we don't do it as a normal thing, we do it as a special group with a special mentality, enjoying the situation, forgetting we don't have a Christmas (break) like the Spanish, Italian and German players. We don't have that.

``But we have the pleasure of playing a period that's only for the braves. I like that very, very much.

``I enjoyed it when I was in England and I missed it when I was in Spain and Italy. Now I'm back I want to enjoy it, I want the players to enjoy it, and we need a special mentality to cope with that situation.

``Nine matches and one of them is the match against Steaua. That's our motivation for tomorrow, to try to kill the situation in the group phase and give us a little bit of space in December; instead of having nine real, competitive matches, we only have eight.''

Fernando Torres is fit to return against Basle from an adductor injury which has seen him miss the last three matches but defender David Luiz did not travel due to a knee problem.

Juan Mata, the Blues' player of the year in each of the last two seasons, has found opportunities limited this term and will get his chance in December.

``He (Mata) deserves to play but I can't start with more than 11,'' added Mourinho, who pointed out Germany's Andre Schurrle, Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne and Willian of Brazil have also had limited chances.

Mourinho insists the onus at St Jakob Park is on Basle, who must match Schalke's result with Steaua and beat the Germans next month to advance.

``They are under pressure and we are not,'' Mourinho said.

``We can finish the job to qualify and Basle, even if they win tomorrow, have to play a last final at Gelsenkirchen.

``For them, the situation is difficult. This shows clearly that, after the first match, we did our job and they didn't do theirs.

``This Chelsea is better than the Chelsea that played at Stamford Bridge. Hopefully we can continue the good run we've had in the Champions League and finish the job tomorrow.''

Basle are looking to repeat their giant-killing act against English opposition.

Aside from their win at Stamford Bridge in September, the Swiss side also ended Manchester United's Champions League campaign prematurely in 2011/12, the season Chelsea went on to win the European Cup, with a 2-1 victory in the final group contest at St Jakob Park.

Forward Fabian Frei said: ``It's clear our first target is third place at the end of this group stage, but we will try to reach second place as well.

``Tomorrow will be a very decisive game for us, but our first target is to get this one point, then we're sure of third position.

``Then we have this final game against Schalke, which would be great for us.

``I remember two years ago against Manchester United here and we had this final game and we won.''

ends

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